July 25, 2019 —
The Polar Security Cutter Program was named Major Acquisition Program of the Year in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Honorary Program Management Awards for fiscal year 2018. The Coast Guard and Department of Navy formed an Integrated Program Office which allowed them to leverage the best practices of both services. Delivery of the first ship is planned for 2024. Shown, from left are: Capt. George Lesher, Mackenzie Emrich, Christine Wiegand, Colin Shorter, Sarah Miller, Tikia Riggins, Jane Louie, Capt. Tim Connors, Megan Torres, Andy Bosak, Juan Colon and Lt. Matt Tolliver. Photo courtesy of Mike Beaty
The Coast Guard’s acquisition workforce received four fiscal year 2018 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Honorary Program Management Awards, highlighting the Acquisition Directorate’s continued efforts to achieve its vision of being a model of acquisition excellence in government. All DHS winners were recognized during a ceremony July 9, 2019, at the Department of Interior’s Yates Auditorium.
The Polar Security Cutter (PSC) Program was recognized as the Major Acquisition Program of the Year. Earning individual awards were Jeff Bishop, Program Manager of the Year; Chief Warrant Officer Robert Sunderland, Information Technology Professional of the Year; and Cmdr. Norbert Schweinsberg, Requirements Manager of the Year.
Debra Cox, executive director of DHS Office of Program Accountability and Risk Management, presented the awards, highlighting the accomplishments of each recipient.
The PSC Program “successfully navigated the establishment of a unique (integrated program office) IPO and joint governance structure while maintaining an accelerated acquisition schedule,” resulting in creation of an affordable set of requirements and ahead-of-schedule release of the request for proposal. The program successfully awarded a contract for detail design and construction of up to three PSCs to VT Halter Marine in March 2019 following a competitive solicitation process. The PSC IPO includes Coast Guard and Navy personnel and is overseen by a leadership team that includes representatives from each service.
Bishop, who is the program manager for the Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) for the National Security Cutter Program, “began delivering long-awaited Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance services from an embarked sUAS on operational patrols.” UAS capabilities for the Coast Guard are game-changing; “this is an entirely new capability which augments, not simply replaces or recapitalizes capability currently available through the NSC’s installed sensors or embarked helicopter, or from a tasked maritime patrol aircraft within the area of responsibility.”
Sunderland was recognized for his work on the Minotaur missionization of the Coast Guard’s medium and long range surveillance aircraft. As the mission system design manager for the Office of Aviation Acquisitions, he “drove the Minotaur common architecture in production on two aircraft platforms in 2018, including the first two HC-144B production aircraft delivered to the fleet.”
Schweinsberg, team lead within the Requirements Division, was recognized for his work to oversee requirements development for more than 30 potential acquisition programs as the team lead within the Requirements Division including new efforts like the Waterways Commerce Cutter Program during fiscal year 2018. He “personally reviewed each capability gap, noting unclear or poorly supported gaps and requirements, and worked with the sponsor’s office to develop data and metrics to support the need to service physical aids to navigation on major inland rivers.”
Jeff Bishop, program manager for the Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Program, was named DHS Program Manager of the Year. During fiscal year 2018, Bishop led the solicitation and competitive award of a task order for multiple years of sUAS operation on a single national security cutter, which would serve as the prototype to fully integrate more sUAS capabilities into the fleet. Photo courtesy of Mike Beaty.
Cmdr. Norbert Schweinsberg, requirements division team lead, earned the DHS Requirements Manager of the Year award. Schweinsberg oversees requirements development for over 30 potential acquisition programs including the Polar Security Cutter and Waterways Commerce Cutter Programs. Photo courtesy of Mike Beaty.
Chief Warrant Officer Robert Sunderland, mission system design manager for the Office of Aviation Acquisitions, received the DHS Information Technology Professional of the Year award. In his final year prior to retirement, Sunderland managed software releases for 28 operational aviation assets, a challenging effort in maintaining the unique Coast Guard command and control software. Photo courtesy of Mike Beaty.